Below you find the complete list of Tier-1-projects since the start of the regular project application programme.

22 Projects found Astronomy and astrophysics

Wave heating and turbulence in the solar atmosphere

Date: 01.12.2017
  • Promotor(s): Norbert Magyar
  • Institution(s): KU Leuven
  • Domain(s): Astronomy and astrophysics
The Sun is one of our most important plasma “laboratories”, where theories of plasma dynamics can be tested through observations. Despite its proximity in astronomical scales, allowing for detailed observations, the solar atmosphere is still enigmatic, harbouring one of the last unsolved problems of classical physics, the coronal heating problem. Via high-resolution magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) simulations, we aim to determine and quantify the dissipation and heating by MHD waves through turbulence or resonant absorption, in different plasma geometries found in the solar atmosphere.

Study of magnetic cusp properties with Particle In Cell simulations

Date: 01.12.2017
  • Promotor(s): Diego Gonzalez Herrero
  • Institution(s): KU Leuven
  • Domain(s): Astronomy and astrophysics
A magnetic cusp is a plasma trap in the shape of a cone which is present in the magnetic fields above and below the poles of the Earth. It is also used for plasma confinement in fusion reactors. In Fusion, magnetic cusps are used because, contrary to others confinement schemes (like tokamac or stellerator), inside the magnetic cusp the plasma always face convex magnetic lines, making It more stable. Using the Particle In Cell code ECsim we will study the beahviour of the magnetic cusp with different plasma parameters and system configurations. The results of this work will give us an insight on the physics of the magnetospheric cusp and will help to improve our understanding of plasma confinement.

Formation and eruption of solar prominences

Date: 01.12.2017
  • Promotor(s): Chun Xia
  • Institution(s): KU Leuven
  • Domain(s): Astronomy and astrophysics
With 3D magnetohydrodynamic simulations, we hope to numerically reproduce the formation and the eruption of solar prominences, considering both the magnetic flux rope structures and the thermodynamic plasma. The detailed magnetic reconnection processes for the flux rope formation in chromosphere and solar flares, triggered by the erupting prominences, in corona will be studied with 3D modeling.

Fluid to kinetic modeling of the magnetic island coalescence problem

Date: 01.12.2017
  • Promotor(s): Rony Keppens , Kirit Makwana , Bart Ripperda , Dimitrios Millas
  • Institution(s): KU Leuven
  • Domain(s): Astronomy and astrophysics
Magnetic reconnection is a ubiquitous phenomenon in laboratory, space and astrophysical plasmas. It affects the functioning of laboratory devices, as well as drives space weather events. Reconnection is a very difficult problem to simulate because it is driven by processes at scales of thousands of kilometers, whereas it occurs in an area of few hundred meters. It is also difficult because we do not have a single comprehensive numerical model to describe it. Therefore we have to use a variety of different codes to model this process. At KU Leuven we have a whole range of numerical tools to model this and we plan to make full use of this facility. We will do large simulations that will start from km scales going up to mm scales. This will help us understand the rate of reconnection and heating in realistic system sizes. This has important implications in understanding space weather and in fusion applications.

Wind accretion onto compact objects in Supergiant X-ray binaries

Date: 01.07.2017
  • Promotor(s): Ileyk El Mellah , Jannis Teunissen
  • Institution(s): KU Leuven
  • Domain(s): Astronomy and astrophysics , Mathematics
In this project, we study how gas is accreted on a neutron star orbiting a stellar companion. In such binary systems, the gas rapidly accelerates towards the neutron star, generating X-ray emission. Astronomical observations have revealed that this emission can strongly fluctuate in time. There can for example be bursts which make the system tens of thousands times brighter, switches in the type of X-ray emission, and periodic oscillations. With the Tier-1 infrastructure and our adaptive simulation code we are now able to capture the accretion over a wide range of length and time scales to help understand these phenomena.